Supplemental Activities


Read Naturally Strategy programs: Creating more reading opportunities



Denise M., Title I Teacher [Santa Rosa Academic Academy, Atascadero, CA]
I stumbled upon a great way to make Read Naturally more fun and interesting for my students. An English language learner in my class was reading the story about Beatrix Potter (Level 5.0). Her read-aloud tone sounded flat and expressionless. I asked her if she had ever seen any Beatrix Potter books. She replied that she had not. I slipped out to the library down the hall and grabbed a few Beatrix Potter books. When the student saw the beautiful water-color drawings and the adorable characters in the books for the first time, the story about the author came alive, as did the expression in her oral reading.

Seeing her excellent response, I began to collect books and articles from home and from the school library. I made a list of the stories being covered in Read Naturally to guide me. I now have a resource classroom library table filled with colorful books and National Geographic magazines directly related to the stories the students are reading. I show students the related books or articles at the point that I think they might most appreciate seeing them. Students now ask, "Do you have a book to go with my story?" or "Do you have a picture for me?"

Honestly, this treasure hunt for supporting materials has made Read Naturally more fun and interesting for me as a teacher. A recent article shared with a sixth-grade student about the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall led us into a thought-provoking discussion about freedoms we take for granted in the United States.


Sharon Brumbley, [Maple Elementary, Springfield, OR] and Scott Baker, [University of Oregon, Springfield, OR]
Create an after-school Read Naturally opportunity that meets for one hour several days a week. Students can spend 30 minutes working on a Read Naturally story and 30 minutes doing homework. Volunteers and assistants can help out with the final timings. Participation in the club can be used as a reward for selected students, creating excitement around the activity and motivating other students to progress in their reading.



Judy Innvaer, Amy Bjurlin, and Jennifer Hess [Woodcrest Elementary, Spring Lake Park, MN]
The “piano lesson” approach is designed especially for students who need extra help with their reading. The teacher copies a calendar and graph on to the back of the stories which are sent home with the student. At home, the student reads along while the parent or guardian, providing the teacher modeling of the Read Naturally strategy, reads the story slowly out loud. The student practices in one minute timed segments, recording the number of times they practice on the calendar and their initial and final timings on the graph.

When the student feels confident, he or she can reach the predetermined goal rate—with three errors or less, correct phrasing, and good pronunciation—the teacher does the final timing. Students must complete one to two Read Naturally stories a week to participate.



Nancy Evans [Wildwood School, Chicago, IL]
Junior high school students who are struggling with reading themselves act as Read Naturally tutors for younger students. As tutors, they conduct the cold and final timings and provide assistance where appropriate. Both younger and older students benefit from this arrangement with improved reading skills and increased confidence.


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